Links 03-23-2010: Mauer, Crawford, Westmoreland, roster shuffling

In case you’ve been living in a cave the past few days, Joe Mauer signed a prodigious 8-year extension with the Twins. That means Victor Martinez becomes the top free agent catcher after this year. To his credit, he says that the deal doesn’t change anything for him and that the ball in is in the Red Sox’ court.

While we’re on the topic of next offseason, it looks like if we want Carl Crawford, we’re going to have to outbid New York for him after 2010.

Ryan Westmoreland was able to leave the ICU last week after his brain surgery, and the prognosis looks good going forward.

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Links 1-19-2010: Avoiding arbitration, reliever value, Gammons on Bay

The Red Sox have four remaining players who have filed for salary arbitration and have not yet signed for 2010. Epstein still hasn’t gone to arbitration with anyone yet, so I’m fairly certain all of these will be taken care of soon. The chief concern among these is Jonathan Papelbon, who wants to be paid record sums of money on a team that is too smart to commit to overpaying long-term. There is a report out today that Paps may be close to signing on the dotted line for $9M, a hefty sum that is more than fair for 65-70 innings of work per season.

On a related note, the inimitable Dave Cameron explains here why relievers are just not worth what some people think, and why saber-savvy teams like Boston avoid those huge deals for closers.

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Hot Stove 2010: The shortstop situation, more on Halladay, Sox acquire Hulett

The Toronto Blue Jays signed Alex Gonzalez this week to a one-year deal for $2.75M. They also hold a $2.5M option for 2011. The Sox reportedly had offered one year and $3M, but they weren’t ready to sign Gonzalez without checking out their other options at the upcoming Winter Meetings, so they lost him. This is one case in which Boston’s circumspection hurt them. Some see Marco Scutaro as the only remaining viable option on the free agent market, but he’s 34 and coming off of a career year (he has mentioned Boston as one of his top choices). Don’t be surprised if the Sox try to get a younger shortstop via trade rather than give an overpriced three-year deal to Scutaro and a first-round pick to Toronto.

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2009-11-17 Links: Minor league free agents, Adrian Gonzalez, Hermida

The Red Sox lost a number of players to minor league free agency this week. These players are no longer a part of the organization, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of them come back:

P Devern Hansack, P Charlie Zink, P Jose Vadequano, SS Angel Chavez, SS Iggy Suarez, P Dave McKae, 2B Travis Denker, P Jarod Plummer, P Derrick Loop, OF Brad Correll

The Red Sox also lost a number of players when they were taken off the 40-man roster and they opted for free agency:

RP Takashi Saito, RP Javier Lopez, 2B Nick Green, C George Kottaras, 1B/OF Jeff Bailey, 2B Gil Velasquez, RP Marcus McBeth, RP Billy Traber, RP Enrique Gonzalez

No one expected Saito to return, but the loss of lefties Lopez and Traber means that we have to sign at least one lefty reliever this offseason. There are a number of quality major league free agents available, and names like Casey Fossum and Chris Capuano are available as minor league free agents.

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2009 ALDS: More info and analysis

Unsurprisingly, the New York Yankees have elected to start their Divisional Series tomorrow, so that means the Red Sox will play game 1 against the Angels on Thursday. Here’s what the schedule looks like:

Game 1: Thu @ LAA, 9:37PM
Game 2: Fri @ LAA, 9:37 PM
Game 3: Sun @ BOS, 12:07 PM
Game 4: Mon @ BOS afternoon (if needed)
Game 5: Wed @ LAA

Red Sox roster

Pitchers (10)
Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz
Jonathan Papelbon, Billy Wagner, Hideki Okajima, Daniel Bard, Takashi Saito, Ramon Ramirez, Manny Delcarmen

Positional (14)
Victor Martinez, Jason Varitek, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Alex Gonzalez, Mike Lowell, Casey Kotchman, Jed Lowrie
J.D. Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Bay, David Ortiz, Rocco Baldelli/Josh Reddick, Joey Gathright]

That leaves one spot up for grabs. The Sox could add Daisuke Matsuzaka to avoid pitching Lester on short rest in Game 4, or add another middle infielder, given the shaky status of Lowrie.

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Lowrie’s forearm a problem

As if watching that drubbing in NY wasn’t bad enough, shortstop Jed Lowrie was pulled from last night’s game with forearm numbness; yes, THAT forearm in which he had the wrist issue.┬áIs there a shortstop in the house? Didn’t think so.

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